Have you ever gotten bad work advice? If you’re not sure, that’s understandable! Sometimes it’s really hard to know whether the advice we receive is good or terrible.

For instance, imagine that a coworker tells you that you shouldn’t “make waves.” Is that good advice? Would it be wise for you to stay silent about the problematic issues at work? Or would it be better for you to speak up, and try to be an agent of change?

If you’re not sure how to identify bad advice, author Sana Qadar is here to help. When you’re given a questionable recommendation, she suggests that you do the following:

  • Consider the source – Are the people giving the advice impartial and genuinely trying to help? Or would it benefit them if you behaved in a certain way? If the people giving you advice have an ulterior motive, be wary.
  • Consider your needs – Even though the people giving you advice may genuinely be trying to help you, they may not understand what you truly want or need. For instance, they may assume that you want to be promoted or make more money (because that’s what they want), when actually, what you really want is to alleviate your stress and reduce your unmanageable workload. Good advice should always be geared towards your needs, goals, and values. If it’s not, then it’s probably not good advice.
  • Trust your instincts – If you feel upset or uncomfortable when you receive a piece of advice, there’s probably a good reason for it. Think about why you may be having a negative reaction. And trust yourself to make the right decision about whether to follow that advice or not.

Qadar, S. (2019, November 17). How to tell good career advice from bad. ABC Life. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/life/what-to-do-when-you-get-bad-career-advice/11687324